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Ethics of sharing music?

Poll Results: Is copying music to give to others ethical?

 
  • 33% (14)
    No, never
  • 11% (5)
    No, unless its family or friends/ it depends
  • 21% (9)
    Yes, sometimes
  • 19% (8)
    Yes, always
  • 14% (6)
    Other...
42 Total Votes  
post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

So Dh and I went to a party at church for the church leaders and we did a Yankee swap. Dh ended up with a great cd. He then was saying he would burn it for anyone that wanted it.

 

It got me thinking about stealing...I mean when I put any cd on to my computer to play the computer automatically saves the files so I never have to put the cd in again. This also applies to borrowed library cds.

 

Dh was saying its not like we would be profiting from the cds....

 

But there are issues with websites like limewire....

 

I don't know what I think. Copying movies is wrong...

 

WWYD?

post #2 of 15

If copying movies is wrong, then so is copying music. I believe that artists should be compensated for their work.

post #3 of 15

You, personally, may not be profiting from making copies of the CD, but that is not the point of the Copyright law.  Copyright protects the artist and allows him/her to benefit/profit from his/her work.  If you are making copies for your friends/family - it is one less (or more) CDs the artist will sell, yet one or more persons are benefiting from the artists' work without having to purchase it.  It deprives the copyright holder of royalties.  Even if you are using it for educational purposes, you are technically supposed to get permission from the copyright holder. 

 

So technically, when you buy or are gifted a CD, you own that CD (as a physical object) and can download it to your computer (for your own use) or cut up the inserts and make collages.  This is okay because it is for personal use.  You can "share" legally by playing in your own home to guests or by allowing people to borrow the CD.  You can make compilations, for your own use.  However, it is not proper under the Copyright law to copy a CD and give it to someone else.   

 

I know it sounds harsh, but a lot of artists have lost out in the past simply because their work was copied over and over again.  Laws became much tighter in the 90s when the copying and pirating of artists' works spun out of control.  So really, it is about the protection of the artist.  I personally wouldn't risk it and as an artist myself (visual) I know why these protections are there. 

 

Edited to say that this is the copyright law in the U.S.  I'm sure other countries have similar guidelines but I can only speak for here.

post #4 of 15

So many musicians spend an incredible amount money making their cds, and barely recoup their costs through sales.  It is absolutely theft to share it with others, thereby allowing them to have a copy of the album without purchasing it.  Please don't do it. 

 

eta:  I voted wrong, after misreading the poll....I meant to vote that it is not ethical.  Sorry to skew the results!  

post #5 of 15

It is perfectly legal and ethical to make back up copies for yourself and people you share a home with. Other than that it isn't legal or ethical.

post #6 of 15
I voted "other." I don't think it is ethical to make a direct copy of a CD to give to friends, but I have no problems about making a special "mix CD" as a gift.
I remember making "mix tapes" as a kid for my friends: special mixes of songs that had sentimental meaning to us. Since the songs were off many different albums you couldn't buy them in the store, and I thought it was silly to buy 10 different albums to make a mix tape for one friend.
post #7 of 15

I voted other. It's not legal, and burning the CD to give to others who want a copy is unethical IMO. On the other hand, I have nothing against music sharing in situations like limewire. My experience in the music industry is if you are good at what you do, the number of people who download your music free is usually compensated by those that find one or two songs, like what they hear and then proceed to buy the whole CD from a legal source (store or iTunes).

post #8 of 15

it's a bit tricky. I have a lot of friends who are musicians. They have no problem sharing their music. They edit their own CDs (except for one who is with Sony Music). And usually the CDs are bought because they put a lot of effort into the art and the design and they put little cool features in them. Things that make you wnat to buy the CD, because it's not something you can download.

But, each artist has the right to decide what to do with their music. Like Radiohead selling In Rainbows for whatever people would like to pay.

 

I think that, at this point, it's inevitable that people share data online, and that includes music, and books. etc. Musicians are catching up on that, and that's probably the reason so many really cool artists are touring (wich is great, I live in a SA country, and in the last months I've seen Pixies, RATM! soon Sonic Youth and Gorillaz are coming)

post #9 of 15

I think it's unethical.  You might not be profiting but if someone receives a copied CD, they won't go out and buy the same CD, which hurts the artist.  Now, if a musician, writer or other artist wants to make some or all of their work available for free, more power to them. But I think it's wrong for a consumer to make that choice for them.

 

ETA: I also voted wrong. I misread. I meant to say it's always unethical.

post #10 of 15

I don't know. I didn't vote. I fall in love with a band, I burn a cd for a friend that has never heard of them. They love them and are willing to shell out $30 for a concert ticket to go with me.

 

Maybe my perspective is skewed because of my deadhead surroundings. And I spend time on archive.org.

 

But I see the argument of why it's unethical.

post #11 of 15

 

 

Is lending a friend a book to read unethical, too?  Should no type of media be shared, ever? 

post #12 of 15

Letting a friend borrow a book isn't the equivalent of burning a CD. Letting them BORROW a CD, not making a copy of it would be the same. If you copied an entire book on a copier and gave it to a friend that would be the equivalent of burning a CD. Stealing music is illegal and it does seem wrong.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

 

 

Is lending a friend a book to read unethical, too?  Should no type of media be shared, ever? 

post #13 of 15

I answered "it depends".

 

If I have the physical cd in my hand, even though it doesn't belong to me, I'll be ok with making myself a copy. I think I can rationalize it because "in the old days", I would have copied it to a cassette.  I won't make copies for others tho.

 

If it's a really hard to obtain cd, impossible to get from iTunes or Amazon, I'll make copies if asked. Someone gave me a fantastic flamenco CD from Spain, it's not available to buy here, not on iTunes, not on Amazon and I happily gave a copy to one of my flamenco friend.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristenok18 View Post

So many musicians spend an incredible amount money making their cds, and barely recoup their costs through sales.  It is absolutely theft to share it with others, thereby allowing them to have a copy of the album without purchasing it.  Please don't do it. 

 

eta:  I voted wrong, after misreading the poll....I meant to vote that it is not ethical.  Sorry to skew the results!  



Musicians make very little anyway on CD sales. If they're signed to a record label, the bulk of the money usually goes to the label (the artist tends to get something like cents per album), while the band makes their real profit through touring. If you want to really support a musician, buy tickets to their shows and buy merch that they're selling at the shows.

 

My boyfriend and I have a small record label in addition to being musicians ourselves. We give away just about everything, personally as musicians and as a label too (and visual art...I shoot photos on a volunteer basis for a major music website plus do editing and our web work for free). We do DJ gigs for little or free (unless travel expenses are involved). For us it is more important to have our work out there, found, and enjoyed. Money can't bring the happiness that that does and to be blunt, if you get into music for the money, you're almost guaranteed to come out sorely disappointed. Unfortunately that's the nature of this line of work, regardless of talent.

 

Amongst our musician friends -- and that's pretty much all of our friends -- having music they've made copied and shared is not a problem at all. Copied music = people coming to shows = money for the band and good attendance numbers which makes clubs/venues book the band again, rinse and repeat.

post #15 of 15

Dh isn't a musician, but as a photographer and an architect - he works in fields with copyright issues too.  It's a really big deal to have your copyrighted material stolen and/or misused and not be reimbursed for it. 

 

I voted "no, never," but would shade it a little to say that in the case of a mix cd (with all artists attributed) then it's probably OK .... It might be the fact that as a kid we made mix tapes all the time and I enjoyed them so much.  But the mix cds combine songs that belong to different labels, would never be released together, etc. - and I know that on the rare occasions that I've made mix cds like that, I've had friends go out and purchase some of the albums I'd taken from so it did generate some additional fandom/traffic for those artists.  I suspect that the mix cds are a bit like the "HOPE" posters that Fisher made of Obama.  Original work by someone else (photograph) but reappropriated by the new artist and reinterpreted.  Then again, he's been sued over it (don't know how the legal case went). 

 

I think the big thing for me is that especially artists - photographers, musicians - are not making a lot of money and are putting a lot of creative work into their music or etc.  They deserve to be reimbursed for that work.  There are bands who do encourage people to make concert recordings and burn cds to share with friends - but not all artists are in agreement about that. 

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